Updated March 2, 2018
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
The 2017 NFL season saw a plethora of injuries to superstar talents across the NFL. Players like Odell Beckham Jr, J.J. Watt, and Carson Wentz went down with season-ending injuries, but that group all will return to the field next season. The injury that could have the biggest impact on next year and the future of a franchise was Pittsburgh losing star linebacker Ryan Shazier to a spinal injury. Shazier won't play in 2018, and his career is in jeopardy. That tragic injury adds to an already pre-existing need in the middle of the Pittsburgh defense that is the point of emphasis for the Steelers in the 2018 NFL Draft. According to sources, Pittsburgh wants to improve their talent at linebacker and safety in the early rounds of the draft.
Sources say the Steelers want to get a fast inside linebacker who is capable of helping them in pass coverage. They also would like to find a safety upgrade. Pittsburgh sources say they are happy with Sean Davis, but they want to improve the talent next to him. Adding a safety who can help them in some man coverage situations is something they would very much like to acquire.
Thanks to falling flat against Jacksonville, the Steelers didn't get to rematch with the Patriots in the AFC Championship. Still, matching up with New England is on the mind of Pittsburgh evaluators, and they would like to add a safety that is capable of covering Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski. Pittsburgh feels that is vulnerability of its defense, and it would like to find an upgrade to defending dangerous receiving tight ends in the middle of the field. The Steelers aren't sure yet if the draft will fall correctly to address those positions in the early rounds, but that is their preference for what they want to improve in the 2018 NFL Draft.